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Passive Packing

People sometimes ask if I have a packing strategy/plan/jedi mind trick for getting ready to go away. In truth I love the end of packing - the feeling that you've essentialised yourself into a bag and that's it for the next little while - but I hate the process. It always seems stressful and full of doubt. Will that be enough undies to get you through? Can I buy obscure brand of toothpaste when I get there or should I stock up? Or worse buy a travel size which won't even get me out of the airport?

So I practice passive packing. About a month or so before I go, I put out a bag in a place that isn't used (spare room, shed or Donald Trump Museum of Sensitivity) and begin to fill it. Without any real urgency. Over the next couple of weeks you just throw things in as you go - if you're getting those undies off the clothesline throw them in. Side thought on undies: pack enough to equal the days you're away plus two. The daily chore of getting the laundry in starts to feed into your pre-trip anticipation. Just do it gradually when you think of something and packing just accumulates.

The last week stuff is things in use - phone charger, toothbrush, passport and any medication. This might require a list to make sure you don't walk out the door without it. But mostly if you have your passport and credit card you can always buy anything else you forget.

Week 1 the bag consists of next to nothing but trust the passive packing.